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May 21, 2016
by May De Jesus-Palacpac
10 Comments

Going back to full time online work

I gave up my good-paying online job in April of 2015. I can’t begin to explain the emotional stress I was going through then. What I can tell you right now is that I was fighting hard to focus on my priorities and chose to attend to my children, most particularly to my youngest son, who was exhibiting some delays in his development.

My decision turned out to be a bad financial call despite our move to go tiny living. I guess it’s because the kids are growing up and the expenses are also higher. I couldn’t stick to only one client and felt the pressure to take on a couple more just to help meet our needs which totally negated the purpose of why I resigned in the first place. The pay was fine but it was miserably unstable.

online-work

Correcting the mistake

One of the things about being 40 is that when things aren’t going right, you’re old enough to know not to linger in your mistake and take action to correct it.

I talked to my husband about sending out my application for full time online work and he agreed after asking me if it was really what I wanted and I said yes.

The first thing I did was email my former boss that I was going back to full time online work, and ask, more out of courtesy, if there was a position open that required my skills. I wasn’t expecting any welcome feelers as I left the company just when it was in its transitioning stage. It wasn’t exactly the best time to leave and I did.

I was also aware that a lot has changed since I left. What once was a web development company is now an up and rising marketing company.

Fortunately for me, my boss informed me of a position that just opened and asked me if I was interested in taking it. He was a bit hesitant at first as writing was not a part of it. When I left, the company opted to hire freelance writers for their writing needs and it is working very well for them.

For us, I mean, now that I’m back.

The new role

The role was to be a Virtual Assistant.

Basically, the tasks are the same as they were in my previous role as a marketing assistant, except that I no longer have to write tech articles nor do content marketing which is now on the shoulders of the company’s SEO strategist whom I think is doing things the way they should be done.

What I was going to do was to provide assistance in a variety of tasks to help them attend to theirs. For instance, data entry work for marketing so that our SEO strategist can take care of the planning, the interpretation of metrics, run campaigns and everything else he has to do.

To be perfectly honest, I’m relieved that the writing tasks are taken from me as my brain needs to reset.

Anyway, I’m still on the 5th week of my 6-week probation, but it seems to be going well. At least on my end, it looks like it is.

I have to get used to some of the new tasks and be highly organized as I receive tickets from three different people. All’s good; there are new things I’m learning about marketing as I do my tasks and Trello is fast becoming my best friend, haha!

Humbled but grateful

God knows how thankful I am that I am back where I was.  The 8 months had been far from easy. I am moved by the kindness and mercy I’ve been shown by my boss. I’m overwhelmed, really, especially at how he considers my children and allows me flexible hours on days when I have to attend to them.

And my first day back seemed as if I never left.

I’ve said  my proper goodbyes to my part-time clients. (I started working two days after my chat with my boss) I’m grateful to them, but I must move on..and quickly.

I realized during my 8 months of freelancing that I may have gotten my personal priorities in line, but I’ve gotten my professional priorities confused. I was saying yes to all writing opportunities I had been presented on the side, apart from my 8-hour work daily and it burned me out.

(READ: Giving up a good-paying online job)

Perhaps it was frustration. I just turned 40 and was feeling like a failure. Perhaps it was depression. My brother suddenly died under tragic circumstances and I was reeling from it. Perhaps it was pain, my heart was consumed with resentment and anger over the betrayal of a person I once valued.  Perhaps it was motherhood. I wanted to be there for my children.

Or perhaps it was pride. I wanted more.

There was a lot of pride.

But I’m glad that I’m given this chance to get my act together.

And so my brief stint as a freelancer ends.

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“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6.

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom,” Proverbs 11:2.

 

May 15, 2016
by May De Jesus-Palacpac
36 Comments

Product Review: Bubble Man Dishwashing Liquid

I had the opportunity to try Bubble Man Dish washing liquid over the last two weeks. I looked forward to it because the leading brand has become too harsh that it caused an allergic reaction on my hands. According to a friend doctor, the medication I’m putting on it will not be effective if I will keep using the same dish washing brand.

I’ve been trying to look for something to replace it and the ones I find most effective are the eco-friendly ones which are usually not that easy on the pocket. That’s why I’m glad that I got to try Bubble Man because Bubble Man is both eco-friendly AND affordable, at only Php 32.50 for the regular sized bottle and Php 120 for its 880  ml bottle.

Bubble-man
It’s not that I’m too cheap to invest on eco-friendly goods because I’m not, but dish washing liquid is something you use everyday. It’s not that easy to shell out so much money for something that will quickly run out. It is only practical to go for an alternative buy if it’s just as good, safe and effective as the costly one, you know what I mean?

Anyway, we tried it and so far, my fingers have not been reacting badly to it. It actually got me excited to washing dishes often because I know that I won’t get painful cuts after washing as I did with the leading brand.

I also like how it smells…sort of citrus-y. I received three bottles – The blue one which is the anti-bacterial one, then the green one which is the Calamansi one, and the yellow one or Lemon. I gave the Lemon to my friend downstairs and she says that she directly put the dish washing liquid on the sponge instead of diluting it in water.

She’s one of those who likes to have a lot of suds and bubbles when she washes her dishes, along with my husband.

Since my husband has no problem with the leading brand, he says Bubble Man is just okay, but for me, I like that it’s easy to wash off the plates. I don’t have a problem with suds since I’m aware that suds are a product of marketing but I did find the mixture less concentrated and preferred applying it directly to the sponge, too, instead of diluting 3% of it in water as advised by the product makers.

Maybe the lack of suds and bubbles is because they took out certain chemicals common in many commercial brands, such as Sodium Hydroxide and Sodium Tripolyphosphate?

Sodium Hydroxide is the content that most likely dried the skin of my fingers and caused irritation. Sodium Tripolyphosphate harms our planet.

Bubble Man being eco-friendly means that it’s sustainable and safe to use for our family and safe for the environment. It’s perfect for the eco-friendly lifestyle that we’re trying to adapt as a family.

Bubble Man Dishwashing Liquid is a product of Mikewell World of Household Products Company. To purchase, please visit their Facebook page.

Bubble Man Dishwashing Liquid is also available in various local supermarkets nationwide.

Thank you Jennifer Dizon and Mikewell World of Household Products Company for sending me the products for review.

May 15, 2016
by May De Jesus-Palacpac
18 Comments

Book Review: From Depressed to Determined

I recently finished reading the E-book “From Depressed to Determined, a 6 Step Guide to Thrive and have Personal Success” by Vivienne Bigornia. Vivienne is the same author of the book, 7 Things Every Wife should Know.

It took me a while to read the book because I recently went back to working full time online for my former company (I’ll tell you all about it soon) and have adjusted my priorities over the past few weeks.

In a nutshell, From Depressed to Determined is a 6-day guide in getting over yourself to making something of yourself.

depressed-to-determined
At first I thought it was about a case of clinical depression and gaining victory over it, but it turned out to be more on finding yourself amidst the chaos and busyness of family life. It’s a very useful and practical read for stay-at-home moms, and even work-from-home moms who feel that they are just doing work to earn a keep and nothing more.

I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by it and I’m thinking of doing the 6-step challenge. You see, I have only read the book but I haven’t really taken the time to do the challenges yet.

(Read: 7 things every wife should know as told by Viviene Bigornia)

The book is easy-to-read with 6 short chapters – from setting a goal to going full swing, and very relate-able content, although personally, I cannot really relate to the depression from being tied down at home with the babies as it was not something I experienced for a long period of time; and not to the extent that the author described it. My kids have always been joy to me and in some sense, satisfy my need for company and entertainment.

It was only when we moved to Cavite that I experienced the struggle brought about by isolation, but even then, my introverted-ness kicked in. But I know of so many women who have gone through the same amount of struggle.

Each chapter includes practical application and exercises for you to do to help you move from creating a goal to making it happen.

To dream again

The thing that made me sit up as I was reading the book was when Vivienne said something about having a dream. In my entire life, I’ve only had one dream. I have wholeheartedly set aside that dream when I started dreaming for my husband and for my kids. But I don’t really have any dream for myself other than to see my husband and my children fulfill theirs.

Have you seen the Nido “Magic Ad” on Mother’s Day? Someone tagged me to that video and it hit home. But even then, having a new dream for myself was not something I gave so much thought in. Until now.

To be honest, after years of chasing after a single passion with literally blood, sweat and tears , I never thought I would ever be capable of having a big dream for myself again.

Maybe the old dream will no longer come to be. And maybe a new dream is waiting to be created. The prospect sounds exciting!

Some say life now begins at 40, why not, right? Perhaps it’s time.

From Depressed to Determined, a 6 Step Guide to Thrive and Have Personal Success by Vivienne Bigornia is available on Amazon for only $0.99.

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